New Delhi: Amid an uptick in coronavirus cases, Delhi has ramped up genome sequencing of samples to detect any new variant, officials said on Saturday.

On Friday, Delhi logged 1,797 COVID-19 infections in a single day, highest in nearly four months, along with one fatality while the positivity rate rose to 8.18 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department here.

The state-run ILBS, which has a genome sequencing lab, has the capacity to analyze 350 samples in four to five days, said a doctor at the facility.

Sources said that from the end of 2021 till June 5, the ILBS has tested 5000 to 6000 samples and most of them have tested positive for Omicron. Samples with CT value less than 25 can only be tested, they said.

“We have detected BA.1 and BA.2 and its sublineages till now while we have not found any new variants. It has been reported that a new variant has been found in Maharashtra. The results of some of the samples will come next week,” said a source.

Officials said that the Delhi government is holding day to day meetings to take stock of the situation vis-a-vis the coronavirus situation.

The samples being sent to NCDC, LNJP and ILBS for genome sequencing have also been increased but those with CT value less than 25 can only be sequenced.

On Monday, Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena had directed officials to ensure genome sequencing of COVID-19 samples in Delhi to “proactively” detect the prevalence of any new variant amid an uptick in coronavirus cases in the city. Amid a spike in daily cases, the positivity rate too climbed from 1.92 per cent registered on June 7 to 7.01 per cent on June 15, which further increased to 8.18 per cent on June 17, according to official figures.

The number of COVID-19 cases has registered a steady rise in the last 10 days, as the daily tally mounted to over 1,300 on June 15 from 247 on June 6, totalling 7,175 cases in this period, according to the official data.  —PTI 



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